How to Figure What to Pay to lease a Room

When deciding on a room to rent it is important that you are paying a fair market rate. Renting rooms typically mean living with roommates or occupying a master bedroom in someone’s home. Some landlords may attempt to overcharge, particularly in low-vacancy places, in an effort to make as much profit as you can. You won’t necessarily have the ability to negotiate a fair price to rent a room, but doing your homework and with full knowledge of going rates can allow you to determine whether you are being overcharged.

Research costs for rooms in the section of town or area where you are looking to rent. Peruse classified advertisements and websites which post leases to compare different costs. See the difference between renting a bedroom and also that of a studio or one bedroom apartment; the bedroom ought to be less money since you are sharing a room.

Notice all of the conditions of this bedroom. Factors like the square footage, the quantity and size of closets, amount of sunlight and location of the bedroom in the house are all important to consider when comparing prices. Also expect to pay extra when you have a private bath.

Factor in the amount of people you will possibly be alive with. More people may indicate you will have less privacy. Instead, a greater quantity of roommates should bring the price down since the rent is going to be split among more people.

Think about the comforts of the various homes that you visit. More perks may drive the price up. Comforts like parking, backyard, cable TV and wireless Internet service might raise the purchase price. Also ask whether the cost for utilities is included in the rent or if there’ll be additional charges each month.

Ask about the length of the rental. Some landlords will lower the price a bit for a more lease; having a reliable tenant can be worth the lower cost. Just the same, shorter leases may be above market value, since the spouse or owner has to spend his time looking for a new renter in only a few months, for example.

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How to Determine the Year a Table Lamp Was Manufactured

Table lights produced by famous designers usually have a date stamp, a item number or the company’s name listed on them someplace. By establishing the date of an antique table lamp, you can discover its value or locate any replacement parts needed. Begin by identifying the manner of table lamp you have, like an Art Nouveau, an Art Deco lamp or a hurricane boudoir lamp, to establish the manufacturer and its era.

Maker’s Hallmark

One of the first places to search for a date stamp or the maker’s hallmark starts with an examination of the base of the lamp which sits around the table. Pick up the lamp and look for a manufacturer’s emblem, name or date stamp embedded into the base. Also look about the lighting fixture itself; occasionally, the manufacturer includes a sticker that includes the name, or date of manufacture.

Antique Lamps

If you’ve got a vintage table lamp and cannot discover a hallmark, a date stamp or another identifying feature, locate a collector’s book on lights to identify the manufacturer, which might help you discover the date that the lamp was made. You can also check auction sites for lamps similar to yours to get an idea of how old it might take or take the lamp to an antiques dealer or collector to get help.

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How to Cut Back Butterfly Milkweed

Butterfly weed (Asclepias tuberosa) creates green foliage through summer and spring and clusters of small red, orange or yellow flowers. It rises at U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 4 through 10. The plant dies back each winter, but it yields out of its ongoing root system annually if it is maintained properly pruned. All areas of the butterfly weed are poisonous if eaten.

Wipe the pruning shears with a cloth soaked in rubbing alcohol to disinfect them before pruning, and then wipe them again when moving between plants. Wear heavy gloves to protect your hands in the sap, which can cause skin irritation.

Cut back the entire plant by one third to one-half its previous height in late winter or early spring before new growth emerges. Make the seams in 1/4-inch of a leaf or leaf bud so the bush doesn’t have bare stems poking out. Eliminate all pruning clippings in the bed after pruning and dispose of them.

Eliminate the wilting flowers after the first flush of blooms begin to fade, slowly cutting the blossom cluster above the topmost group of leaves on the stem. Removing the dead flowers prevents seed formation, which promotes butterfly weed to produce more flowers. Stop deadheading in late summer if you would like ornamental seed pods on the plants in autumn and winter.

Prune off the seed pods in late autumn or early winter should youn’t want the butterfly weed to self-seed, or simply to enhance the garden’s look. Wait until spring to cut back the entire plant.

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How to Wash Oil-Finished Furniture

Oil-finished furniture picks up dirt quickly than furniture with a lacquer or polyurethane finish, mainly since the wood grain is slightly raised and catches dust and dirt as it floats by. You can keep the furniture looking great by dusting it frequently, but sometimes you want to wipe it down with a cleaning solution to remove the ground-in dirt. You will need a very particular type of cleaner, without any water, wax or furniture polish to build up on the surface and dull the appearance of the wood.

Utilize a lint-free, soft fabric without buttons or zippers for dusting. Avoid using a feather duster — it doesn’t remove dust and can actually make the surface duller.

Clean out the wood regularly with a solution consisting of 1-cup boiled linseed oil, 1-cup turpentine and 1/3-cup white vinegar. The turpentine and vinegar cut through grime while the linseed oil revitalizes the oil finish.

Wipe the solution on the wood with a clean cloth; do not pour it on. Allow the solution remain on the surface for several minutes; then rub it off with another clean, lint-free fabric. Wipe along the grain of the wood.

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5 Tips for Lightening the Load of Your Closet

It is a mess, it is uncontrollable, and you need space. You are going to handle the entire thing, and you’re not going to allow sentimentality weaken your resolve. You have had an epiphany, and you’re ready to clean out your clothes closet!

But as you pull out this first item, it happens: Your ever-so-rational mind starts building an ever-so-rational situation for keeping almost every article of clothing you were just prepared to throw.

We have all been there, so don’t despair. Whether you’re fueled by enthusiasm or trembling with trepidation, these tips tips will start you on your path.

1. Notice the explanations. Such as:

“I really paid a lot for that.” “I just haven’t gotten around to sporting that yet.” “That only needs altering.” “I will fit back to that among these days.” “Fashions always return around. “Sound familiar? We all have things we hold on to. Notice the reasons that pop into your mind, because once you understand your motives for holding on to these things, you will be better able to proceed and make space — literally and figuratively.

Start by eliminating 10 items (or five — simply select a number that isn’t zero). In one quick sweep, you might be amazed what you may throw without a struggle. If you’re terrified of biting off more than you can chew, be assured that you may accomplish a fantastic deal nibble by nibble, drawer by drawer, row by row.

Monarch Renovations

2. Unburden yourself of the unworn. We have all heard that unless it is a cocktail gown or your wedding dress, you ought to eliminate it if you haven’t worn it in a few months. For a lot of us, that’s easier said than done. It might even seem downright unreasonable. However there are ways to put this in perspective.

Our memory can be faulty, so try using these nifty tricks to keep track of everything you really wear. Buy pretty fresh hangers, and every time you wear something, put it on one of these new hangers. You can achieve the same effect without investment by turning all of your hangers backward. As soon as you’ve worn something, replace it with the hanger hung forward.

Cabinet Innovations

If it comes to your drawers and shelves, it is likely that the stuff squashed in the corners and crumpled on the bottom are items you truly don’t use. But if you want to be certain, take everything out and put a small, brightly colored decal (the type you find at an office supply store) on every clothing tag and remove the decal after you have worn the item. You’ll soon see what you really like to wear and what is just taking up valuable real estate. Then shift accordingly.

Also, take a closer look when you trade out your seasonal clothing. If you didn’t wear it a year, odds are good that you’re not going to wear this season, so don’t hang it up and do not pack it up — contribute it. You know you will find more things this year, so go ahead and make space for it.

Andrea Gary/Queen of Kerfuffle™

3. Multiply your distance by reducing the multiples. Have you got five white blouses, black skirts or pink stripes? Various styles for different outfits — I know, I know! But at least one generally remains unworn or is ill fitting. Toss merely one of these multiples and you have instantly gifted yourself with 20 percent more distance.

4. Dump the damaged goods. Is it pilling, tattered, snagged, threadbare? If it’s sentimental, wash it, fold it and put it into a box. If it isn’t, throw it. Is it at a heap awaiting stain treatment, repairs or alterations? Looking at a heap of things you haven’t cared may create guilt and add to anxiety. Give yourself one week to see to the things, take it to the seamstress or transfer it out. You’ll be rid of a heap and will take pleasure in the singular satisfaction of checking something off your to-do list.

California Closets of Indianapolis

5. Unload the unfashionable, unflattering and unhealthy. Certainly, some items are authentic classics and endure the test of time. But clothes worn at a job you no longer have or in a environment you no longer frequent (state, outfits out of the clubbing days) simply need to go, particularly if this job or environment has bad feelings or reduction attached to it. In addition, don’t keep gifts given by people that you do not really like (the clothes or the people). If the tags are still on, go back. Otherwise, consign them and use the cash or store credit to find something you love.

All Things Home Organizing™ by Gayle Grace

Here’s a tough fact: The 1980s are long gone. Even though that has been the most exciting decade of your life, it is time to ditch the clothes and get up-to-date. Since we aren’t always able to see ourselves clearly, another opinion may be a superb mirror.

If you don’t have a buddy to review your wardrobe with you over a bottle of wine, use this time-tested strategy: try on a costume and picture bumping into an old flame. Would you feel confident and sexy wearing it, or awkward and embarrassed? What you felt good in then might not be leveraged today, so embrace who you are today and work with everything you have got.

Snobz Design

We’re not all fashionistas, nor are we all prepared to completely reset our wardrobes. But the bottom line is that the closet needs to be a place of inspiration, not pressure. So lighten your load and keep only what you enjoy and feel beautiful in — whatever your style may be.

Tell us : What do you’ve got trouble eliminating?

More: Easy Ways to Receive Your Closet Organized Right Now

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How to Bring an Apple Tree to Your Edible Garden

Eating an apple a day is easy to do if you grow them in your yard. Apple trees are one of the most easily available fruit trees, with varieties for virtually any area and climate. They are also amazing landscape trees, with fragrant spring blossoms, abundant summer foliage and intriguing winter branches.

Choosing just one kind of apple cider grow can be difficult. You will find early, midseason and late apples; oranges for bakingapples and; that are best for eating directly from the tree. Flavors vary from sour. Some self-fertilize; others require a pollinator. Then there’s size and shape. Standard apples may reach 20 feet high and wide, but you can also find dwarf and semidwarf varieties.

Apples are easy to espalier train over a trellis. You can even find colonnade trees, which grow up to about 8 feet tall but get just about two feet wide — think about them the sentries of the backyard. You are going to need at least two of these, since they don’t generally self-fertilize.

A fantastic choice for a small backyard is a multivariety tree. As its name implies, it’s many types on apples on one rootstock. Not only does this kind of tree give you plenty of choices and a more season for fruit, but any needed pollination is supplied.

Laara Copley-Smith Garden & Landscape Design

Where to grow : Apples generally require a winter chill, so they generally do not succeed in tropical or subtropical low-desert climates, such as Hawaii, the low deserts of the Southwest or along the Gulf Coast. On the flip side, if you stay in an area with very harsh winters, you’re going to require a tree using a rootstock that can withstand the cold. Your best bets are USDA zones 1 through 7 for most apples, and zones 8 and 9 for low-chill apples.

Rhonda Kieson Designs

Favorite early-season apples: Anna, Apple Babe, Beverly Hills, Chehalis, Courtland, Dorsett Golden, Ein Shemer, Gala, Golden Russet, Gravenstein, Haralson, Hudson’s Golden Gem, Lodi, Mollie’s Delicious, Norland, Pink Pearl, Pristine, Summerred, William’s Pride, Zestar

Favorite midseason apples: Cox’s Orange Pippin, Delicious (Red Delicious), Empire, Fiesta, Ginger Gold, Golden Delicious (Yellow Delicious), Golden Sentinel (colonnade), Gordon, Granny Smith, Honeycrisp, Jonagold, Jonathan, Liberty, McIntosh, Pettingill, Rubinette, Scarlet Sentinel (colonnade), Spartan, Wealthy, Winter Banana, Winter Pearmain

Favorite late-season apples: Arkansas Black, Ashmead’s Kernal, Braeburn, Enterprise, Fuji, Gold Rush, Iared, Karmijn de Sonnaville, Matsu (Crispin), Melrose, Northern Spy, Pink Lady, Shikuza, Sierra Beauty, Spitzenberg

Noelle Johnson Landscape Consulting

How to Plant Apple Trees

Most apples are sold as bare-root plants, even though you can find them in containers. Start looking for trees with strong, wide-angled branches that encircle the tree. Colonnade trees should have equally spaced side branches.

When to plant: Plant bare-root trees in full sun with well-drained dirt in late winter or early spring; container trees can be planted from autumn to spring, as long as the soil can be worked and it’s not too cold.

Planting instructions: The planting hole should be twice as broad as but no deeper than the rootball. Fill in with soil and water thoroughly. Add mulch as needed; do not let it touch the back. Remove any weak or crossing branches. If you are likely to espalier, begin now by removing all but the strongest side branches.

If you are planting more than one tree, space standard apple trees 20 to 30 feet apart, semidwarf varieties 12 to 16 feet apart, dwarf ones 5 to 2 feet apart and colonnade ones at least 18 inches apart.


How to Care for an Apple Tree

Watering: Water trees deeply and thoroughly, keeping the ground moist but not too saturated. Deep, thorough waterings, even when done less frequently, are best. Mulch will help conserve water as well as discourage weeds.

Feeding: Fertilize with a balanced chemical when the buds first start. Start with about 1/4 pound, then add another 1/4 pound for the next few years before the trees grow. If the tree is growing about 6 inches a year, however, there’s no need to fertilize. Also, cut back on nitrogen in case the tree is generating plenty of leaves but minimal fruit.

Thinning: Apple trees do shed some fruit in June, but you’ll probably have to narrow branches to about 8 inches or more apart, especially smaller branches. This will lead to larger fruit and less inconsistency between the dimensions of the crop from year to year.

Noelle Johnson Landscape Consulting

Pruning: Prune in the end of the dormant season. Apples are fairly resilient; you do not have to follow an specific principle for fear of losing fruit.

Shape the tree to create a pyramid or to have a central trunk with a vase-shaped group of branches in the top (called a modified boss). Remove any branches which are too narrowly angled, either crossing or weakened, or those that are growing out of bounds.

As the tree matures, remove any branches which are not generating as well as people that are crowding the interior; crowding the interior impedes the fantastic air flow which helps prevent diseases.

If you are training the tree in an espaliered routine or as a low, long-term (perfect for an easy harvest), then eliminate any wayward branches to maintain the pattern. Remove wayward branches out of colonnade trees too, even though they require little pruning otherwise.

Pests and diseases: Apples are yummy, but the trees aren’t free of diseases and pests. These lists may seem long, however, the odds are great you won’t receive all of these in your tree, so don’t despair.

Coddling moths top the list of pests, but you may set out spray or traps. Other problems include apple maggots, leafrollers and aphids. The latter are usually a short-term problem, as beneficial insects find and devour them.

Diseases comprise apple scab, cedar apple rust, powdery mildew and fireblight. If these are common in your town, start looking for disease-resistant types. Sunburn may also be an issue.

In all instances good garden hygiene will help prevent difficulties.

Putney Design

Harvest: Early-season apples should be harvested fairly quickly, since they don’t continue well on the tree. Late-season apples can be made on longer.

Cradle the apple in your hands and gently twist the stem, leaving the branch or spur it’s attached to in place. Wrap the apples in paper and keep them in a cool, dark spot.

Do you grow apples? Please inform us in the Comments section what sort does well in which you live.

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Patio of the Week: Keep a Secret Garden on the Side

“The side lawn of a residence is often overlooked, abandoned in favor of their heavily used front and back yards, but this is what’s so good about them they have the perfect capability to develop into silent getaways within a home’s landscape,” says garden designer Bill Dear.

This lovely side yard patio and garden takes up a place that readily could have been overlooked, creating beauty and calmness. Though the backyard has a number of places, including a pool, a deck, an open yard and vegetable and perennial gardens with amazing views of rolling meadows and woodlands, the side yard has a more enclosed flower-lined path, garden and patio that produce a different feeling of sheltered privacy.

Garden at a Glance
Who lives here: A busy family with young teens and frequent guests
Location: Philadelphia
Size: The patio ranges from 7 to 16 feet wide.

Dear Garden Associates, Inc..

The garden beckons back past the pool home (right), with a stepping stone path bordered by colorful blooms.

Dear Garden Associates, Inc..

The path leads from the pool home down to a stone pump house. The curved stone wall into the left is a retaining wall, which provides a grade switch; the timber one to the ideal covers unsightly air conditioners. The location where the path navigates between both is a “pinch point” that’s 7 ft wide, giving a more enclosed atmosphere across the path.

The wet-laid retaining wall is confronted with a sandstone indigenous to the area. The stepping stones are irregular, lilac-colored flagstone. Plants, including varieties of sedum, thyme and veronica, fill in the gaps between the rocks.

Other plants seen here comprise Cotinus coggygria, Geranium x cantabrigiense ‘Biokovo,’ Hosta ‘Golden Tiara’, Iris sibirica ‘Ceasar’s Brother’, Nepeta racemosa ‘Walker’s Low’, Salvia nemerosa ‘Caradonna’ and Stachys byzantina.

Dear Garden Associates, Inc..

A wide variety of heights provides the makeup maximum interest; the higher ground above the retaining wall as well as low, medium and tall perennials and shrubs produce undulating waves of color. These include Cotinus coggygria, Buddleia davidii ‘Lochinch’, Calamintha nepetoides ‘White Cloud’, Geranium ‘Rozanne’, Leucanthemum x superbum ‘Beckyand Rudbeckia fulgida.

A lot of these draw butterflies and hummingbirds.

Dear Garden Associates, Inc..

Once past the pinch point, the space opens up, and also the same stones used on the road spread into a stone patio. Two lounge chairs provide a personal place for getting away from all the activity in the garden.

Dear Garden Associates, Inc..

Plants were selected for attraction year round. “Native Sweetbay magnolias (Magnolia virginiana) flower later in the year than many magnolias, adding white blooms and sweet scents into the garden in late spring,” Dear says.

Dear Garden Associates, Inc..

The low-profile perennials and herbs planted between the rocks not just stand up to warm and arid conditions and light foot traffic, but also the thyme releases a brand new odor when stepped upon.

Plants seen in this opinion include Magnolia virginiana, Clethra alnifolia ‘Hummingbird’, Hamamelis x intermedia, Hydrangea quercifolia, Alchemilla mollis, Coreopsis verticillata ‘Moonbeam’, Geranium x cantabrigiense ‘Biokovo’, Iris sibirica ‘Ceasar’s Brother’, Sedum acre and Thymus serpyllum ‘Alba’.

Dear Garden Associates, Inc..

A charming stone spring house marks the close of the side yard garden. Climbing hydrangea (Hydrangea anomala subsp. Petiolaris) partially covers its facade.

“This great blossom has year-round interest and is very versatile,” Dear says. “It becomes self-supporting by using small holdfasts, which attach to the surface of trees, walls, arbors and pergolas, and it also has the potential to drape itself delightfully over both sides of walls or across steep embankments as a ground cover. Its flower is a white lacecap.”

Dear Garden Associates, Inc..

As you might have noticed, the photos in this ideabook were taken during different days of the year. “it’s very interesting to me to pay attention to the same plants seen in various seasons,” Dear says. “For instance, plants like the Siberian Iris (Iris sibirica ‘Ceasar’s Brother’) flower early in spring, but the seedpods which develop in the following weeks have an interest all their own. The foliage is still an awesome textural contrast long after the flowers have long gone and also has a terrific fall color as the seasons turn.”

Dear Garden Associates, Inc..

Dear can’t say enough about the potential for often-neglected side lawns. Look at your own with new eyes to see whether there is potential for a secret garden, even if it’s only a path with plants running vertically on a trellis beside it.

More: How to Turn a Side Yard Into a Dramatic Garden Room

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Maidenhair Fern Brings Lacy Grace into a Room

Maidenhair ferns are delicate plants with quite fine stalks and a lacy look, thanks to little leaflets writing the fronds. They need high humidity and also have other special care requirements, but their beauty and elegance may very well slip your heart, which makes the extra care well worth it.

Kate Jackson Design

Maidenhair fern will grow to about 3 feet tall in its natural habitat, but forms produced for houseplants are generally much smaller.

Julie Williams Design

A countertop location in a bright toilet may be the perfect humid environment for a maidenhair fern. Bowed fronds make it particularly suited to tall-footed urns, which give a graceful look as well as keep the fronds from touching the base surface, which may cause damage.

Sally Wheat Interiors

Supply indoor maidenhair ferns with warmth and moisture to keep them active. If the temperature goes lower than 60 degrees Fahrenheit or the plant dries out, it will probably go dormant. (More on what to do about that later.)

While the maidenhair fern with this coffee table looks stunning, a positioning such as this is recommended only if you live in a humid environment or do not mind misting your plant several times every day.

creative jewish

Maidenhair ferns grow from rhizomes that spread rapidly just under the surface of the soil. The fronds come from brownish-black leaf stalks, which unfold to exhibit their apple-green leaflets.

West Elm

A tiny potted maidenhair works well on a bed of damp stones in a footed terrarium (or even a goldfish bowl), which creates an perfect humid environment.

California Home + Design

It’s not called maidenhair for nothing. A planter is a fun way to liven up a space that is living.

How to look after a maidenhair fern:

Temperature: 60 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit (16 to 24 degrees Celsius), although above 70 degrees is greatest. This plant is especially sensitive to cold drafts.

Color or a moderately lit spot. Intense bright light is not favored; direct sun will burn off the delicate plant.

Water: Keep the soil evenly moist year-round. If you allow the soil to dry out, even for a brief period, the foliage will quickly turn brown, and the plant will look lifeless. Not all is lost, however; the plant can return to life if you cut all the brown foliage and restart care as stated. To conserve a plant which hasn’t dried out completely, submerge the pot in a bucket of water keep it submerged until air bubbles stop rising to the surface. This may thoroughly moisten the soil and help keep the plant out of going into a dormant phase.

Soil: Use wealthy, loose, organic mulch; half potting mixture and half peat moss. Avoid potting mix containing fertilizer, since it can dissolve too fast and burn the delicate fern roots.

Feeding: Feed weekly with a weak liquid fertilizer during the growth season.

Humidity: High humidity is required.Unless your plant is in a humid toilet, use a tray of pebbles to keep the humidity elevated. Mist frequently. This is the perfect plant to use in a terrarium or even under a cloche (shown here), especially if high humidity is not functional in your house.

Repotting: Potting in a little container will not damage the plant, but keep your eye on the main development. If the roots fill the container, then it’s time to repot.If your plant is joyful, repotting may be necessaryonly one or two times per year, based on the bud size and expansion rate. Maidenhair can be divided by separating the rhizomes during repotting to make more plants. Each rhizome section requires just a few leaf stalks to grow into a new plant.

Toxicity: Nontoxic.

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A Chilly Massachusetts Bathroom Understands the Hotel-Spa Remedy

She loves to soak and he enjoys to steam and one of these was getting what they really wanted out of the master bathroom with its drafty window, dated fixtures, whirlpool shower and bathtub too large to be functional. This husband and wife wanted a personal and private space that felt like a modern resort spa, but using traditional touches. The outcome is a luxe and comfortable room that functions both of these as a fantasy escape at the end of a long day.

Bathroom at a Glance
Who lives here: A couple with two young daughters
Location: Beverly, Massachusetts
Size: Around 142 square feet

Megan Meyers Interiors

The 1990s structure was cold in temperature and style. Designer Megan Meyers took the room all the way down. “Unfortunately, in the 1990s a lot of building was not as concerned with tight envelopes such as we are today, so it was quite inefficient,” she says. Additionally, until she could get started on the fun things, the room had improved insulation, as it is situated above the garage.

The cold tile floors used to produce the homeowners dread going into the bathroom barefoot. Now the floors have radiant heat and also a new baseboard heating system. Meyers also substituted the drafty window using a new efficient one from Anderson Windows.

The floors look like marble but are ceramic tile. She chose quartz in Arabescato Verde to your shower brink to avoid tough-to-clean grout lines and because the green in the veining picks on the greens in the stained glass tiles.

Megan Meyers Interiors

A sizable vanity offers plenty of storage and also his-and-her sinks. The mirrors open to medicine cabinets and are mirrored on both sides. Crystal knobs add a little bling.

Vanity: Bertch; dressing table complete: Shale (the color is much lighter than it looks in this photograph); stained glass tiles: Vihara, Sonoma Tilemakers

Megan Meyers Interiors

Another large item on the spouse’s wish list was background, which is not a sensible idea in a room which has a steam shower (the newspaper starts to peel off from your stitches when exposed to too much steam). Meyers commissioned handsome artist Kasia Mirowska of Miro Art and Design to complete a unique stencil treatment which has a metallic background, glazing and a final coat of varnish. The owners may wipe condensation right from the beautifully stenciled walls.

Megan Meyers Interiors

Meyers additional picture-frame molding beneath the stenciled walls due to the 12-foot ceilings. “The molding attracts the room down to an individual level and is fitting with the toilet’s modernized traditional style,” she says.

Among the spouse’s leading wish list things was a chandelier with some bling. The James Moder Florale Chandelier adds traditional crystal in a whimsical floral style.

Megan Meyers Interiors

“The homeowners like to sail and also are attracted to decadent colors; I sourced this stained glass tile, and they fell in love with it,” Meyers says. She used 1- from 3-inch tiles on the backsplash and floor, then chose the 1/2- by-1-inch size in the exact same tile to the shower.

The counter is Italian Okite quartz, which looks like marble.

Faucets: Sigma; mirrors: Robern

Megan Meyers Interiors

BEFORE: The husband dreamed of a steam shower with lots of room instead of this standard shower.

Megan Meyers Interiors

BEFORE: The old tub was over 7 ft long and jetted. The couple used it in the 2 decades since they moved in. Well, that is not exactly true; they did fill it with balls to produce a ball pit to get both daughters — the bathtub was that large.

Megan Meyers Interiors

AFTER: Meyers borrowed space from the oversize tub surround to expand the shower stall, making it a 5- by 5-foot space.

Megan Meyers Interiors

Rather than a full wall between the bathtub and shower as seen in the earlier pictures, there are two large panes of glass. The center piece provides room for the plumbing and fittings. “Creating these two large ‘windows’ opened the shower to the light along with the views,” Meyers says.

The husband got the steam shower he’d needed so much.

Fixtures: Sigma

Megan Meyers Interiors

Meanwhile, the spouse’s fantasy of a large soaking tub, no jets required, came true on the other side. While initially she had pictured a cast iron claw-foot bathtub, Meyers steered her from Victoria and Albert’s Volcanic Limestone Collection because it holds heat better.

There’s also a European heated towel bar between the bathtub and the shower (not pictured). Window treatments in a quatrefoil pattern up the comfy factor and supply privacy.

Padding barefoot round the heated floors for a luxurious soak or a steam is a fantasy come true to the couple.

Baseboard heater (beneath window): Runtal; curtain fabric: Corralillo in Seaspray, Fabricut; side table: Worlds Away

More: Steam Showers Bring a Beloved Spa Feature Home

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Let Lilac Love Flower

“From the Spring,” the poet Tennyson tells us “a young man’s fancy lightly turns to thoughts of love.” He fails to say where a young lady’s fancy turns. I can speak only for myself, but each spring of my girlhood — as far back as I can remember — my fancy turned to thoughts of crime.

I am a reformed lilac thief.

I don’t wish to shift the blame or make excuses, but you should understand I had a deprived childhood, growing up in a house with no own lilac bush. And my assistants were pure: Lilacs were my mother’s favorite flower, and here in Michigan their blossom period almost always coincides with Mother’s Day. The church down the street had a magnificent bush, and each May, clutching my basket purse, I left my criminal pilgrimage.

My mother had no tolerance for thieving. When I was young I shoplifted just one bit of Brach’s candy. Upon discovering this (I stupidly asked what B-R-A-C-H-S spelled), my mother promptly turned the car around, marched me back to the supermarket and hauled me to the manager. He had been a softie and stated it was nice, it was nice, no big deal. But my mother was obdurate: It was not fine. Under her steely gaze I left my own sobbing apology and paid a dime, vowing never to slip again — and again, so far as shoplifting went, I kept it. My mother had frightened me directly.

And every spring, once I gave the exact same woman a bouquet of purloined posies, she obtained them with rapturous gratitude rather than ever challenged their provenance. Apparently in her publication, in regards to lilacs, there was no law. I am pleased to say that my entire life of crime ended when we moved to the nation and my mother planted a lilac part of our very own.

Dreamy Whites

Following my husband and I bought our first house, among the first things I did was plant a lilac bush on the southwest corner of the house, right outside our bedroom window. If it came into blossom, I would lie in bed and smell the heavenly odor. When we looked in our next house, I was pleased to observe a huge bush in the garden and a bigger one on the east side of this house that I could see and smell from our potential bedroom. I afterwards planted a third, and all three miraculously endured our fire.

Last April a writer I understand was leaving for a conference and bemoaned on Facebook her lilac was only blooming and could complete ahead of her return. I knew she was visiting a conference in my city several weeks after that and thought it only might line up with all our blossom time. I didn’t know her all that well but impulsively promised to deliver her some because the thought of somebody overlooking lilacs altogether was an unthinkable thought. The night prior to the conference, my lilacs were in their summit, and I fell off a beautiful bouquet in her hotel.

In Michigan spring can be so capricious. You never know exactly what you’re likely to get climate wise in April, but by early to mid-May, when the lilacs are blooming, you can be certain it is finally spring. Paradoxically, the hard winters and long dormancy provide what lilacs need. It’s commonly thought that lilacs can not survive in warmer climates due to the warmth, but it is the prolonged heat in combination with a mild winter. I was pleased to learn that there are a few varieties called “Southern bloomers” (though many of these were created in California) that do very well in warmer climates.

Pamela Bateman Garden Design

The common lilac isn’t the most attractive tree, also it takes up a lot of space. To me it is more than worth it of course, I have room for it. Luckily, there are many varieties available in a variety of colours and sizes as well as with staggered bloom times. My objective is to add several more varieties so I’ve flowers for weeks on end.

Rocco Fiore & Sons, Inc

If you want to put in a lilac to your garden — and I trust you do — you will find infinite possibilities. Lilacs thrive in USDA zones 3 to 9 (find your zone). If you’re in zones 9, be sure to select a “Southern bloomer” or just one marked for warmer climates. Lilacs need full sunlight, and once they’re set up, they are rather easy to take care of. They run the gamut on dimensions, from as small as 3 feet tall to stretching to 30 feet.

Pacific Ridge Landscapes Ltd

Dreamy Whites

I do understand a lilac of one’s own isn’t a possibility for everyone, for any number of factors. If this is you I advise throwing yourself into the arms of charity. Use the power of social networking — I am not joking. Look how that worked out for my friendly acquaintance, the writer.

Barbara Pintozzi

Ultimately, if all else fails, I can suggest some fiddling lilac thievery — that, if conducted properly, may not be a crime. Have a drive in the nation and eventually you will come across an abandoned farm, maybe with a ruins of a barn with just the rock foundation and a beautiful set of lilacs to indicate its former presence. Hippity-hop out of your vehicle and get to work.

Anita Diaz for Far Above Rubies

Despite the hardiness of this bush, the blossoms themselves are very delicate. Be certain to have a deep bucket full of lukewarm water in addition to a set of sharp trimmers. I smash the bottom of the branch with a hammer to ease the flow of water. Quickly strip the branch of leaves and then plunge it in the bucket. If you want a bit of greenery, pick some separately. Once you’re home, plunk them in anything. It’s impossible to arrange lilacs unattractively.

Love them with a clean conscience.

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